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Burger chain Wendy’s looking to test surge pricing at restaurants as early as next year

Wendy’s will test new menus that change prices throughout the day

A fluctuating Frosty? Wendy's explores bringing Uber-style pricing to its fast-food restaurants at some U.S. locations in 2025

During a recent conference call with investors and industry analysts, CEO Kirk Tanner announced Wendy's plans to initiate testing of advanced features, including dynamic pricing and daypart offerings, as well as menu adjustments and suggestive selling facilitated by artificial intelligence, starting as early as 2025.

A picture of Wendy's new digital boards was given to CNN. Courtesy The Wendy's Company

Wendy's has affirmed that it does not intend to raise prices during peak hours at its restaurants. The clarification comes in response to media reports highlighting CEO Kirk Tanner's comments about the company exploring features like dynamic pricing in its establishments.

Unlike platforms such as Uber, which employ dynamic or surge pricing to manage demand during high-traffic periods or when resources are scarce, Wendy's emphasizes its commitment to avoiding price increases during busy times. In the dynamic pricing model, prices fluctuate based on demand, a strategy widely used in various industries to balance supply and demand dynamics.

Responding to circulating reports, Wendy's clarified its intentions, emphasizing that any features tested in the future would aim to benefit customers and restaurant staff. The company explicitly stated it would not adopt surge pricing, a practice involving raising prices during peak demand periods. Wendy's reiterated its commitment to customer-friendly practices.

Wendy’s will test new menus that change prices throughout the day

Wendy's is set to invest approximately $20 million in deploying digital menu boards across all of its U.S. company-run restaurants by the end of 2025. Over the next two years, an additional investment of around $10 million is earmarked for global digital menu enhancements.

The introduction of digital menu boards is expected to enable dynamic menu changes, allowing for adjustments in offerings at different times of the day and facilitating the implementation of discounts and value offers, particularly during slower periods.

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